The  Monet: The Story of Claude Monet by Cyrus P. Weekes

The Monet: The Story of Claude Monet

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Claude Monet's life as a painter is meticulously recorded in this book which is one of the rare biographical works focussing on that artist. Every detail of that painter's life which might lead to a more comprehensive view of his works is tastefully put down here by his respectful biographer: his boyhood in Le Havre; his early talent for caricature which led to a premature fame; the influence of Boudin who implored the arrogant young boy to turn his talents to a more serious vein; the hostility of his family toward his artistic aspirations; his futile attempts to find the proper academic schooling in the fashionable ateliers of Paris; his apprenticeship under the strong hand of the half-Jewish, half-Creole, Pissaro; the influence of Jongkind which further heightened his perception of landscape; his love and dependence on his model and wife, the ailing Camille; the scandals caused by his Dejeuner Sur l'Herbe and Odalisque; his response to the Japanese craze; constant deprivation; the final acceptance in 1882 of impressionism; the last years as a recluse, and the ultimate return in fantasy to boyhood and Camille. Monet is captured here as a man whose potency, spirit, and mind resided in the vigor of his vision, a man driven by the need to see. In speaking of Monet, Cyrus Weekes has wisely concentrated on his eye, that source of brilliance which perceived as no one has done before and which transmuted that vision onto canvases which first outraged and later delighted art spectators. Free from the meanderings of the less scrupulous biographies of artists, this life of Monet should have a particularly strong appeal to painters and students of nineteenth century French art.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1960
Publisher: Appleton-Century-Crofts